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Nearly 100 scientists will survey the wealth of wildlife at Lake Farm Park this week while engaging local citizens in understanding the biodiversity here in Dane County.

BioBlitz 2018 will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Community members are encouraged to explore the abundance of species inhabiting the 1,000 acres of the Capitol Springs Recreational Area being surveyed. There will be a number of activities to highlight the park’s natural features.

This free event is hosted by the Milwaukee Public Museum in partnership with the Madison Metropolitan Sewage District, Friends of Capitol Springs, Dane County Parks and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“There’s obviously a lot that people can get out of this event,” Milwaukee Public Museum spokeswoman Jenni Tetzlaff said. “It’s a great opportunity to learn about biodiversity in Dane County.”

The exploration of nature will be in two parts: On Friday, 92 scientists from 24 organizations and universities will conduct a 24-hour species inventory at Lake Farm Park to record and identify the wildlife’s conditions while noting any endangered or invasive species.

While scientists review their findings on Saturday, the community is invited to join in with hands-on experiences like a prairie and bird walk at 1 p.m. and opportunities to feel the pelts and skulls of native Wisconsin animals.

BioBlitz has been around for four years, but this is the first time it will be coming to Dane County.

“The Milwaukee Public Museum is primarily a natural history museum,” said the museum’s senior vice president, Ellen Censky. “This is a way for us to show people what natural history is. It’s important for us because we are not just a Milwaukee museum but the state’s museum.

“In 24 hours, we give all the information back to the park. It helps them to manage their parks and gives them areas to focus on. It also is a great way to just talk about these urban parks, what a great resource they are for biodiversity.”

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